5 Great Family Gift Ideas for Your Hard-To-Please Senior Parents

These make excellent "group" gifts for (and from) the entire family!

By Clare Absher RN BSN  

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Gift ideas recommended by our elder-care nurses to help enhance your senior parent's health, safety, independence, comfort, and emotional wellbeing. These gifts have a higher price point and for that reason make excellent “group” gifts for, and from, the entire family.

Baseball Season Tickets

1.Season passes to local arts or sporting events make perfect gifts for folks who seemingly have everything. Whether they enjoy going to the theatre, concert, or a ballgame your senior parent will enjoy fun-filled evenings out on the town. Imagine your Mom’s delight while tapping her foot at the local musical playhouse or Dad’s enjoyment cheering for the home team at the stadium. Collaborate with your siblings in this costly venture to gift your aging parents season passes to cultural events; a present that will surely be a homerun for your older parents’ emotional wellbeing.

iPad and Smart Phone,

2.iPads, tablets, and smart phones are not everybody’s “cup of tea”, however, your elderly Mom or Dad might surprise the family by being open to this group gift idea. They do not need to become a technology wiz to access online newspapers, weather, and amusing games which all contribute valuable mental stimulation. Games like Solitaire, Candy Crush, and Words with Friends are to name but a few popular choices. Your aging parents will be delighted to view family photos including their beloved grandchildren on social media or even preloaded via memory card, depending on their technology savvy. E-mailing friends and family to keep in touch with those far away has never been easier with the use of hand held technology. Don’t discount your elderly loved one’s drive to learn new skills-they might be excited to find old friends and catch up with them on social media while perfecting their filters and becoming an Instagram sensation. Get your senior parent connected to sharpen mental faculties and enrich their emotional wellbeing.

Head of the Bed Elevated

3.Electric adjustable beds are certainly big-ticket items that make terrific group presents for the entire family to pool their resources together.  My mother strongly objected to such an extravagant gift but eventually succumbed to the idea after having major hip surgery. She soon discovered the convenience of elevating and lowering her bed and moving the head and foot of the bed with the push of a button. Your senior parent will cherish the ease of getting in and out of bed and the ability to access maximum comfort at their fingertips. Get everyone on board for this amazing gift that will enhance sleep comfort, safety, and ensure future independence of your senior.

Wearing Personal Alarm System Necklace

4.Personal emergency response systems may not be comfort or luxury gifts but are certainly champions in the safety category. Giving your senior parent, yourself, and the rest of family some peace of mind is a win-win for all. Emergency response systems are critical when a parent lives alone or is a fall risk. Many older folks are not only fearful of falling but profoundly worried about being left helplessly unattended on the floor for hours, if not days. Personal alarm devices come in an assortment of models that will require due diligence on your part to find the best fit for your senior. Choose the most suitable one to heighten in-home safety and positively impact your parent’s wellbeing.

Donating Cash to Charity

5.Contributions to favorite charities always seem to make thoughtful and meaningful family gifts. Many senior parents enjoy donating regularly to certain charities so what better gift then to donate on their behalf? Perhaps you can surprise your Mom with a donation to her favorite children’s hospital or surprise your Dad with a contribution to the local animal shelter. Regardless of the charity or amount able to donate, you can’t go wrong making a donation in your parents’ name to their favorite charity-it’s a win-win for all!


Clare Absher RN BSN

About the Author

Clare Absher is a Registered Nurse with 44 years of experience. Most of her experience is in home health serving as a caregiver, educator, patient advocate, and liaison between families and community resources. She has also worked in acute care, assisted living, and retirement settings. She is passionate about helping families care for their elderly loved ones at home.

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